(PRESS RELEASE) East Timor and Indonesian Action Network projects images from the Oscar-nominated documentary THE ACT OF KILLING on World Bank headquarters

February 20, 2014 – The Oscar-nominated documentary THE ACT OF KILLING was projected on the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. Thursday in an action by the East Timor and Indonesian Action Network.  The group is calling on the World Bank to acknowledge its role in the 1965 military coup in Indonesia that lead to the massacre of an estimated one million civilians. The World Bank helped prop up the corrupt government of Suharto, the general who lead the coup and ordered the mass killings. The Bank sent the Suharto regime $30 billion in development aid over the course of three decades despite knowing $10 billion had been looted by the government.

“THE ACT OF KILLING powerfully highlights the ongoing impunity within Indonesia for the 1965 mass murders,” said John M. Miller of the East Timor and Indonesian Action Network. “Tonight we highlight the World Bank's support for the Suharto regime, which knowingly backed his corrupt government while his post-coup body count climbed. We urge the World Bank to acknowledge its role in Suharto's many crimes and to apologize and provide reparations to the survivors. Institutions like the World Bank must also be held accountable for their financial assistance to the murderers and decades of support as they continued to violate human rights.”

“The World Bank gave $30 billion dollars to a dictator who killed an estimated one million of his own citizens,” said THE ACT OF KILLING filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer. “The murderers spent years profiting off of their heinous crimes with the World Bank and other global financial institutions footing the bill.”

The projection on the World Bank Thursday launched the I HONOR campaign to remember the victims of the mass killings. Supporters are tweeting photos of themselves with signs that read “I HONOR VICTIM #...” to humanize each of the estimated one million victims of the coup and pressure the World Bank, and other international entities, to publicly acknowledge their complicity in the murders.

THE ACT OF KILLING, currently Oscar-nominated for Best Documentary feature, has been recognized as one of the best films of 2014. The film has received over 60 awards including Best Documentary from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). While the mass killings of 1965 are an open secret in Indonesia, the government has never acknowledged or apologized for sponsoring the murders. THE ACT OF KILLING, which has been shown in thousands of private screenings and is available free online throughout Indonesia, is empowering victims’ families to demand reparations from the government for the first time.

About East Timor and Indonesian Action Network
The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) advocates for democracy, justice and human rights for Timor-Leste, West Papua and Indonesia. In 2012, the government of the Democratic Republic Timor-Leste awarded ETAN the Order of Timor (Ordem Timor) for its role in the liberation of the country. More information about ETAN can be found at: http://www.etan.org

In THE ACT OF KILLING, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer and executive produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, the filmmakers expose a corrupt regime that celebrates death squad leaders as heroes.

When the Indonesian government was overthrown in 1965, small-time gangster Anwar Congo and his friends went from selling movie tickets on the black market to leading death squads in the mass murder of over a million opponents of the new military dictatorship. Anwar boasts of killing hundreds with his own hands, but he's enjoyed impunity ever since, and has been celebrated by the Indonesian government as a national hero. When approached to make a film about their role in the genocide, Anwar and his friends eagerly comply—but their idea of being in a movie is not to provide reflective testimony. Instead, they re-create their real-life killings as they dance their way through musical sequences, twist arms in film noir gangster scenes, and gallop across prairies as Western cowboys. Through this filmmaking process, the moral reality of the act of killing begins to haunt Anwar and his friends with varying degrees of acknowledgment, justification and denial. More information about the film can be found at http://actofkilling.com/.



SOBERBO, um pedaço de poesia
"Tom Waits, a Day in Vienna"  (uma noite velhinha, ainda muitos de nós éramos imberbes, 19 de Abril 1978, e já o Waits era uma lenda)

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“Golden Week”

THE Macau Government Tourist Office has released preliminary data indicating that over one million people entered Macau during the so-called “Golden Week” (from January 31 to February 6), a growth of 13% compared to the previous year.
According to MGTO, over 770,000 of the overall visitors came from mainland China, an increase of 23%. The hotels were almost full (94.4%) and the gaming operators are expected to hit a new record this month.
The 13% increase in visitors could be seen in the overcrowded streets. There were days when it was impossible for human traffic to circulate in the central area. The authorities decided to implement crowd control measures at San Ma Lo (Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro) to ensure the safety of pedestrians. It certainly isn’t pleasant to be treated like cattle and to make long detours on the way to a destination, but maybe that was the only way to avoid serious accidents. In this regard, it must be said that the police did good work and ensured public order. The fact that nothing very serious happened under these circumstances can’t be attributed only to pure luck.
The Times reporter Grace Yu was out on the streets on the most crowded day and registered conflicting opinions about the atmosphere created by such a multitude. In a bustling Senado Square, she interviewed Ms Bao, from Guangdong province, who was visiting Macau with her family for the first time and said she had not expected so many people to be in the territory: “I feel that the land could be stamped flat,” she commented, adding that she was not frustrated by the crowd: “The crowd makes the atmosphere lively – that’s what a Chinese New Year should be.”
On the other hand, another visitor, Mr Wang, also a first-time visitor to Macau, claimed that his mood was “greatly affected”: “It’s hard to move and walk with so many people. We dared not go into those food booths; it’s a squeeze.” The Shenzhen resident went to a casino but didn’t gamble because there were “too many people inside” and criticized the crowd-control measures as ineffective: “The traffic and flow control are not as good as those in Hong Kong. It’s too messy. (…) Look at the area near the Ruins of St. Paul’s; it could be serious if any sudden mass accident occurs.”
And what about the people that live in Macau? They can’t even say that the crowds are gone after the “Golden Week”. That time is for sure the busiest of the year, but as a Macau old-timer told me the other day, the central area is like a rock concert everyday.
This congestion infuriates some residents, but the locals are typically reserved and many times withhold their criticism, maybe because of the fragile historical circumstances in which the local community has thrived.
But we could see some indignation being vented through social media. The president of the Macanese Association, for example, posted a picture of the crowds in San Ma Lou with the ironic caption: “The price of development.” Commenting on the post, he added an interesting concept: “Touristic pollution.” Someone else added, “What horror!” (This reminds me of Conrad’s fictional character Kurtz, whom, in chaotic circumstances, muttered: “The horror… the horror…”)
The crowds seem to be a fact of life in 21st century Macau, but everybody who lives here should get together and demand that the economic benefits brought by those crowds are enjoyed by all and don’t just end up in a few “deep pockets.” It would be encouraging to see some concrete measures that surpass the subsidies (after all, money isn’t everything, right?). Why not, for example, build in the new reclaimed areas a park comparable to the ones that exist in major cities around the region – like Victoria Park in HK, the Botanic Gardens or the recently opened Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, the Olympic Park in Seoul, or Yoyogi Park in Tokyo? Places where people can rest, enjoy the landscape, and breathe?
On a humorous note, the local Environmental Protection Bureau posted a press release on Golden Week’s most crowded day, stating that the number of black-faced spoonbills in Macau “has beaten an historical record and new pedagogical elements have been added to Cotai’s Ecological Zones.” It seems that the environment has been good lately… especially for the birds.
(PB, in MDT)

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BELOS daguerrotipos de Cantão e Macau em meados do século XIX. Difícil de imaginar que já foi assim o sítio onde moro:

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Fishing with Tom

Fishing with Tom, originally uploaded by BARBOSA BRIOSA.


O fantástico Henry Miller. Que documentário maravilhoso.



Universidade de Coimbra

IMG_0161, originally uploaded by BARBOSA BRIOSA.


A MOP49m question… and I will give you the answer

THE government’s revised 1995 North Taipa Urbanization Plan has been in the headlines. When the New Macau Association brought the subject up, it launched suspicions that the speedy announcement ahead of the Urban Planning Law (effective from March 1) was made to benefit the area’s private land owners, including Chan Meng Kam and the Chief Executive’s elder brother Chui Sai Cheong, both land shareholders there.
As dutifully pointed out by a number of CE-
appointed lawmakers at the Legislative Assembly last week, it is legitimate to invest in land where a building permit for residential construction does not exist and expect that, due to the urban pressure, city planners will change their minds, opening roads for large profits. Nothing wrong with that, but problems can arise when the ones who make decisions about land usage are directly linked to the ones who benefit from those decisions.
I don’t know if that is the case with the North Taipa Urbanization Plan, but it’s clear that the MSAR badly needs an effective urban plan that provides more housing. If the authorities continue to stall projects, the consequences could be dire.
Walking past a very well located “luxury project,” I saw an estate agent holding some floor plans. I asked him what the price of a T2 was (a flat with 2 bedrooms and a living room). After resorting to a calculator, he came up with a figure: MOP49 million. MOP49 million? I immediately thought of the several incarnations that a wage-dependent family would need to come up with those savings… Only in the afterlife!
I can hear you, gentle bourgeois reader, saying that it is a high-end flat that they are selling there, and the luxury is for those who can afford it. But I ask back: What is this luxury that’s being sold to you? Is it a luxury to live in a high rise T2 (and not a “low-density project,” as stated by the publicists) that can hardly accommodate a family? That’s not my notion of luxury.
I recently interviewed Jeff Wong, head of residential sales at Jones Lang LaSalle (Macau), who says that the only way to improve the situation of the housing market in Macau is by increasing the supply. He calculates that around 7,000 units are under construction in Macau, and 30,000 others are waiting for government approval. The controversial plan of the Northern District of Taipa and Ilha Verde could add 50,000 more units. Jeff Wong says that the government now needs to “think of ways to simplify and speed up the [approval] procedures in order to increase the supply.” Otherwise, the market conditions won’t change significantly... Mr Wong may have a point.
Sustainable urban development is needed in Macau. Let’s hope that the new law will contribute to help avoid mistakes made in the past. There’s a lot to do, like renewing old neighborhoods whilst keeping the heritage features and protecting green spaces.  
The housing shortage is characteristic of territories like Macau, and there are ways to deal with that. In Hong Kong, a plan was announced last week for 152 sites, on which the HKSAR government plans to build half of the 470,000 housing units promised over the next 10 years. The plan is not exempt from controversy. According to the South China Morning Post, the “rezoning of the green belts and public sites looks set to eat up swathes of green belt and community sites in satellite towns in the New Territories.”
What the plan indicates is that the HK authorities are aware of this chronic housing shortage problem and are doing something to curb it. Macau can’t stall on this challenge, or the housing problem will cripple the region’s development.
(published in MDT) 


Em Macau: Em Lisboa:
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